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    ABSTRACT: Despite the widely accepted theoretical prediction that high district magnitudes should yield less proportional results in plurality systems, empirical evidence is surprisingly mixed. We argue that these mixed results are ultimately due to a lack of clarity about the counterfactual being considered. We use a simple model to show that an increase in district magnitude reduces expected proportionality in a plurality system only if it is accompanied by a reduction in the number of districts. This conditional prediction helps to explain the diversity of existing findings and is consistent with our own analysis of both U.S. congressional delegations and local councils in Britain.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Electoral Studies
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    ABSTRACT: Variation in the promotor region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) is a promising candidate for better understanding individual heterogeneity in subjective well-being or happiness, as measured by life satisfaction. This functional polymorphism has previously been associated with mental health and selective processing of positive and negative emotional stimuli. A case-control association study on a representative sample of Americans (N=2574) finds that individuals with the transcriptionally more efficient version of the serotonin transporter gene, report significantly higher levels of life satisfaction (P=0.01). This new finding may help explain the important genetic component of the individual baseline levels of happiness.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: William Howard Taft and Frederick A. Cleveland’s vision of executive budgeting clashes with the unique status of the U.S. Congress among the world’s legislatures, and its proponents may exaggerate the potential for presidents to act as fiscal guardians. This article advocates more congressional budgeting by reinstituting effective fiscal rules and strengthening the role of the budget committees. These mechanisms would enhance fiscal discipline and aid consolidation.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Public Administration Review
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